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Meet Extraordinary Nurse Vickie Her, 2024 TPMG Nurse Leader of the Year

“Vickie motivates everyone to work to their full potential,” said Usha Rao, MD, Assistant Chief of Ophthalmology in the Central Valley. “She does not shy away from any task and is not afraid to make tough decisions or have tough conversations.”

Vickie Her, BSN, RN, was awarded the 2024 Extraordinary Nurse Award – TPMG Nurse Leader of the Year. She has been with Kaiser Permanente for 29 years, and serves as the Service Unit Director for Vision Services, Float Pool, Staffing Office and TPMG Front Office Operations in the Central Valley.

Inspiration for Nursing

Growing up as the eldest daughter in her family, Vickie was responsible from a young age for being the translator for her immigrant parents during their medical appointments.

“These experiences taught me the vital role that nurses play in patient education. I greatly appreciated how tolerant and understanding the nurses interacting with my family were, taking the time to explain things to me so I that I could then relay the information to my parents,” shared Her.  “Nurses truly have a significant impact on the well-being of patients, and their dedication to educating and supporting individuals, regardless of their background, is truly commendable.”

Leading with Purpose

Vickie shares that as a nurse leader, her role is to inspire and influence her teams to maintain composure, make sound decisions and show empathy in unique situations, both in and out of the clinical setting.

“It is crucial to understand and validate the emotions experienced by individuals during the healthcare process and to respect their needs,” said Her. “As nurse leaders, we balance the roles and responsibilities of healthcare professionals, always prioritizing the best interests of the patient. By fostering empathy and understanding, we create a culture that addresses challenges and provides optimal care.”

Delivering Care Excellence

Rao shared one of the reasons she and others on the team nominated Vickie for the Extraordinary Nurse Award was for her collaborative efforts and focus on patient safety as the clinical nurse manager content expert for the Northern California pilot, and subsequent rollout, of the Ambulatory Procedural Safety Checklist for Ophthalmology Services. Implementation was successful for Stockton and Modesto Ophthalmology, and the teams yielded 100% compliance as of earlier this year, thanks to her leadership.

“She leads by example and with integrity,” said Rao.

“Nurses have an incredible impact on the lives of those they interact with every day. Whether it’s patients, colleagues, or coworkers, their knowledge and education truly make a difference,” said Her.

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